Why Customer-Centric Hotels Gain More Revenues

By Megan Wenzl Associate Editor, ReviewTrackers | October 01, 2017

It is hard to argue that a hotel's primary focus be anything else but the guest, but just how essential is it for hotels to be customer-focused? The answer is - very essential. A major part of being customer-focused is understanding and then ensuring you are giving guests what they want. Specifically, if guests are looking for experiences, then create experiences that are unique and personalized. Details matter.

In the 21st century, customers have access to a wide variety of valuable third-party information about businesses to help them decide on a hotel at which to stay on their next vacation. While customers are using third-party data like online reviews for research, hotels should be using the information for research, too - to understand, improve and continuously update the guest experience.

The only way, however, to create meaningful experiences is by starting at the very core of a company - by building a customer-centric foundation in which the culture thrives on delighting the customer. For example, the way the food is made at your hotel's restaurant should be focused on what the customer wants. Is feedback from your customer data saying that the food should be local? Then make it local. All leaders and departments within your company should be focused on work that matters to the customer. This again reverts back to creating a culture that values the customer at its core - this involves engagement from all of your employees and excitement to create memorable guest experiences. For many employees, this means learning new customer service skills and thinking of customer interactions differently. This is good because companies will obtain and retain valuable customers.

Your customers are people with emotions. They have worries and fears, hopes and dreams, and they want to spend their money on a product or service provided by a company with which they feel a connection. It is in those days or weeks that they are choosing to stay at your hotel, to share a moment of their lives with your staff, that provides a ripe opportunity for hotel executives to create personalized experiences their guests will never forget.

An Entire Town Creates a Program for Customer Service

Consider this: An entire town in Colorado pushed for better customer service with a new customer service training program. Why? Because the town cares about the its guest experience and found that its Net Promoter Score - a rating that comes from the question, "How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?" - was only a score of 70 (out of 100) in 2013.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.